Chris Wilder has credited Sheffield United’s ‘unsung heroes’ with helping to transform the League One club’s fortunes.
United enter Saturday’s game against AFC Wimbledon hoping to record a third straight win in this season’s competition after taking only a point from their opening four games.
Despite placing them on the transfer list after taking charge four months ago, Wilder described the contributions of Paul Coutts and Kieron Freeman as “outstanding” since being granted opportunities to salvage their careers at Bramall Lane.
But he said: “There are a few lads that were in the departure lounge who have come back in and been brilliant,” he said. “Their attitude has been excellent and, if you want to achieve anything in football, then that has to be the case all the way through. If you don’t have that, especially among the lads who might not always get the headlines, then you won’t.”
Coutts, the former Derby County midfielder, returned to the starting eleven when injury ruled John Fleck out of last month’s match at Millwall. Freeman, who also joined United from the iPro Stadium, was handed a recall when Wilder allowed fellow defender John Brayford to join Burton Albion on loan.
“I think we’ve shown we’re not afraid to make tough decisions,” the United manager said. “Nobody is untouchable so that’s why people need to show they are ready to come in. If they don’t, then they’ll be making a mistake. Jake (Wright) did it like Paul and Kieron. Stefan (Scougall) did too.”
United climbed to 17th in the table when they followed their victory over Oxford with a 2-1 success at Gillingham last weekend. Wilder, who could bolster the options at his disposal after opening talks with several unattached players, added: “We’re always trying to get better and improve.”